Top 10 HipHopCanada Posts of 2014 [Article]
Toronto, ON – 2014 was a big year for us, here at HipHopCanada. In case you’ve missed the memo, we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary of the site – which is huge. We’re super excited on our content for the upcoming year, and really excited to see what Canadian hip-hop has in-store for us.
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been delivering quite a few ‘Best of 2014’ posts to keep you cats reminiscing on the greatness that was 2014 in Canadian hip-hop.
So in keeping with our Best Of 2014 posts, we’ve dug through our stats to find out which posts got read the most this year. We’ve compiled the Top 10 HipHopCanada posts of the year, based on our site traffic. Check it after the jump.
Maestro Fresh Wes, Snak The Ripper’s album art for JUST GIVER & MGK
Top 10 HipHopCanada Posts of 2014
This was Lil Wayne’s ever classy way of delaying the release of Tha Carter V. Instead of getting everyone all salty about the project’s later release (which we’re still waiting on – by the way), Weezy teamed up with King Drizzy Drake over top of a monster Boi-1da and Vinylz beat.
Low and behold, this became one of those tracks that everyone and their grandmothers dropped freestyles over. Trust. It was huge.
Our Vancouver rep Max Dishaw reviewed Snak The Ripper’s 2014-released Just Giver album and loved it. Snak’s been bubbling to the surface over the last couple of years, after successfully founding the Stealth Bomb Record label, touring the globe, and delivering some of Canada’s finest underground bars.
According to Max:
“Not once do you think to yourself that he’s trying to sound like someone else. He’s got his own style and sound and it’s just so him. Even if you don’t like it, you have to respect it.”
Our Associate Editor-In-Chief Sarah Jay took in a project at the beginning of the year called 1990, by a guy named JesseRay. Sarah described the project as, “…like the Weeknd; but with Kanye West auto-tune raps.” She loved the project so much that she decided to chop it up with JesseRay.
Turns out he was formerly affiliated with The Weeknd and the XO crew. So Sarah and Jesse had a very long interview covering the span of Jesse’s involvement with XO, his decision to leave XO, emotions, Toronto girls, and everything else in between. It was a really long read, but you guys were feeling it.
Sarah Jay caught up with one of the OVO and XO master creatives behind many of your favourite Drizzy Drake videos. Remember “The Motto?” Remember “Marvin’s Room”? Those were just two of many videos that Hyghly worked on.
Hyghly told us about the formation of XO with Abel Tesfaye (aka: The Weeknd), and recounted the exact 2012 moment when he found out that he’d won an MMVA for his work on Drizzy’s video for “The Motto.” He also let us know that he was looking to build with artists outside of the OVO and XO circles.
We were the first to break it to you when Snak The Ripper announced the drop date for JUST GIVER earlier on in the year. We showed you the cover art and gave you the down low on the album’s featured artists, which included Snak’s fellow SBR label mates Jaclyn Gee, Merkules, Young Sin and Caspian, as well as production courtesy of The Audible Doctor, C-Lance, Sapient, Vokab, Kid Lithium, and Religion Beats.
Snak’s album release marked a massive milestone for underground Canadian hip-hop and we were honoured to be a part of it all.
YG announced that he was going on a Canada-wide tour and the Internet blew up. One of the freshest new wave West Coast rappers, YG started the tour in Montreal, QC, and finished it in Kelowna, BC.
The tour came following YG’s debut studio album, My Krazy Life, which was released in March 2014 and hit the No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart. The album featured a guest appearance by Drake on “Who Do you Love?” and Tory Lanez on “Me & My Bitch.”
Longtime Toronto hip-hop supporter/man-on-the-scene/HipHopCanada contributor Addi “Mindbender” Stewart had some frustrations to air out about the state of the T-Dot scene:
“MINDBENDER DOES NOT LOVE TORONTO’S SELFISH AND DISRESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR, TORONTO’S CORRUPTED SOCIAL VALUES, OR TORONTO’S SELF-DESTRUCTIVE COWARDICE IN ITS POWERFUL MOMENTS OF TRUTH.”
Mindbender penned an impressively thorough editorial that made all of us – hip-hop supporters and hip-hop artists – take pause to reconsider our place in the scene and the importance of support.
2. Maestro’s “Reach for the Sky” named anthem for 2014 Winter Olympics [News]
Photo: Maestro Fresh Wes by HipHopCanada’s Ajani Charles
A monster moment for Canadian hip-hop, CBC made the announcement that Maestro Fresh Wes’ “Reach for the Sky (Gold Medal Mix),” featuring Classified and Blue Rodeo, had been selected as an official song for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Celebrating 25 years under his belt in Canada’s rap game, Maestro jumped head-first back into the game this year and got a Canadian hip-hop song out on the airwaves as the official anthem for the Canadian Olympians over the two-week duration of the Winter Games. Massive.
Back in April 2014, our friends over at Pearl Entertainment decided to give Edmonton its very own hip-hop music festival: Iron Mic. At this point, Associate Editor-In-Chief Sarah Jay was living in Edmonton, and we’d just brought our Edmonton rep Rosa Jason on to the team. So Rosa and Sarah set out on a marathon day of coverage including photography and reviews, as well as interviews with Smoke DZA, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Ghostface Killah, and MGK.
The weirdest interview of the day went down with MGK’s camp where A) MGK introduced himself to us by throwing a strip of condoms over his shoulder which – FOR THE RECORD – remained strung over his shoulder for the duration of the interview, B) MGK made us eat fruit of his fancy fruit plate, and C) Slim Gudz stroked Sarah Jay’s hair throughout the entire duration of the interview – ON CAMERA. It was uncomfortable.
But all weird antics aside, Rosa and Sarah agreed that MGK was one of their favourite interviews. Sarah wrote that:
“MGK is one of the most appreciative dudes I’ve come across. He has so much love for his fans. And so much love for Edmonton. He doesn’t take his status for granted. At all. I also loved that he consistently referred to the “us” and the “we” that is his team. So many MCs get caught up in their own hype that they forget to pay their dues to their teams. The MGK fam-jam dynamic was just downright beautiful. Respect! One love! Kumbayah!”
We dropped Saskatchewan MC-on-the-rise Pimpton’s visuals for “All The Sexy Girls.” It was kind of lurky, kind of sexy, and super polished. Shout-out to the P Man!
Wu-Tang ain’t nothing to f**k with.
Yet another Snak domination on our site. Snak dropped audio for the track “Karma,” which was a proper education in karma: “You better treat people good if you lookin’ for respect/ It’s a simple principle, what you give is what you get.”
Everyone wants to be Toronto’s hottest next rapper. Roney showed us that he might very well be that dude with the drop of his Don’t Sleep Volume 3 mixtape.
2014 saw the start-up of our #DearRappers column. Editors KassKills and Sarah Jay started up a reoccurring column to dish industry advice to Canadian rap cats. Kass launched the column with a very insightful real talk about getting an “in” on the industry.
Tags: Blue Rodeo, Boi-1da, C-Lance, Caspian, Classified, DJ DWhiz, Drake, EST 19XX, Georgia Murray, Hyghly Alleyne, Iron Mic Music Festival, Jaclyn Gee, JesseRay, Kid Lithium, LIINKS, Lil Wayne, Machine Gun Kelly, Maestro Fresh Wes, Merkules, MGK, Mindbender, OVO, Pearl Entertainment, Religion Beats, Sapient, Snak The Ripper, Stealth Bomb Records, The Audible Doctor, The Weeknd, Tory Lanez, Vinylz, Vokab, XO, YG, YMCMB, Young Sin